Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
Hunter Creek is the main winter route into the Benedict Huts. The route climbs steeply out of the Hunter Creek Valley over the first 3 miles to gain the long, gradual ridge on the top of Smuggler Mountain. The last 3 miles continue up the ridge line with one short, steep climb just before the hut.
Starting from the Hunter Creek Trailhead, cross the Benedict Footbridge and up the south side of Hunter Creek. After 0.5 miles, at 8,600 feet, leave the valley by climbing SE up a well-marked trail that eventually climbs westerly up the mountainside. You'll intersect the Smuggler Mountain Road at 9,200 feet.
Follow the road for a long 2.5-mile wander through forest to an elongated open area (10,600 feet). Turn left off the road here and continue E for 0.25 miles up onto a small timbered ridge. Swing south and follow the flat ridgetop for 0.5 miles to the huts.
Shared By: Missy Thompson